Castelpetroso (Marche): Sanctuary of the Addolorata


History of the origins and useful information on the Sanctuary of the Addolorata di Castelpetroso, what to see at the Mariana Basilica built following the apparitions of the Madonna that took place with two shepherdesses.

Tourist information

Near Castelpetroso, a town that rises about eight hundred meters above sea level, in the Molise region of Isernia, is the Santissima Maria dell'Addolorata Sanctuary.

The majestic Basilica, whose plan symbolizes a heart pierced by seven swords, was designed in neo-Gothic style by the engineer Francesco Gualandi and is completely carved in local stone.

On 22 September 1890 the foundation stone was laid, eighty-five years later, on 21 September 1975 it was consecrated.

Apparitions of the Madonna

The Sanctuary was built following the Marian apparitions that occurred for the first time on March 22, 1888 to two shepherdesses, who saw Our Lady of Sorrows, with their dead Son at their feet, in some cracks of the rock at the foot of Monte Patalecchia.

Following these events, numerous people came to the locality and were able to see the Virgin of Sorrows.

The Bishop of Bojano Monsignor Francesco Palmieri Macarone, initially rather skeptical, went to the place together with other prelates and he also witnessed the apparition.

Subsequently in that place a source of water began to flow, the properties of which healed the 12-year-old son of Carlo Acquaderni, director of the Bolognese magazine il Servo di Maria, seriously ill with bone tuberculosis.

Following this grace, the Bishop and Acquaderni, witness together with the son of the apparitions, began to commit themselves to the construction of the basilica dedicated to the Virgin of Sorrows.

What see

The Sanctuary is connected to the place of the Apparitions by the Via Matris, a path that recalls the pain of Mary, through a path that winds along the mountain on the model of the Via Crucis, about 750 meters long.

At the end of the Via Matris there is a bronze sculpture by Urbano Buratti, depicting the Virgin of Sorrows in the same attitude as the first apparition, while the sculptures of the newsstands that mark the Via Matris were made by Alessandro Caetani.

Recommended readings
  • Agnone (Molise): what to see
  • Molise: Sunday day trips
  • Castelpetroso (Marche): Sanctuary of the Addolorata
  • Larino (Molise): what to see
  • Isernia (Molise): what to see

The apparitions were officially recognized by the Church, also on December 6, 1973 Pope Paul VI proclaimed Maria Santissima Addolorata di Castelpetroso patroness of Molise.

Tags: Molise